Tag Archives: resort

Royal Pacific Paradise

Staying onsite at Universal Orlando Resort has many benefits and staying at one of the 3 deluxe resorts  includes the best benefit of all, included Unlimited Express Pass.

HOTEL GUESTS ENJOY EXCLUSIVE THEME PARK BENEFITS
  • SKIP THE REGULAR LINES with Universal Express SM Unlimited ride access* in both theme parks – a FREE benefit worth up to $89 per person, per day^
    (valid theme park admission required)
  • Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, one hour before the theme park opens (valid theme park admission required)

Loews Royal Pacific offers the lowest cost option of the deluxe resorts and is an absolutely gorgeous resort. Easy walking distance to both parks and boat service as well.

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Dine on exceptional cuisine; delight in the impeccable service; and soak in the breathtaking splendor of lush tropical surroundings at a white sandy beach of the lagoon-style swimming pool; all while enjoying the latest in modern conveniences.

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Royal Pacific offers several room categories, from standard, water view, suites and their fun kid’s suites…Jurassic Park themed!

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Guest Room Amenities

  • 1,000 guest rooms including 51 suites; rooms start at 335 sq. ft
  • Flat panel television with HD channels and On Demand® in-room movies (fees apply)
  • iHome clock radio and docking station
  • Keurig coffee maker featuring Emeril’s Gourmet Coffee and assorted teas
  • Refrigerator
  • Cotton signature bathrobes
  • Nightly turndown service (upon request)
  • Iron, ironing board, hairdryer and in-room safe
  • Complimentary* wireless internet access in each guest room and most common areas of the hotel
  • Upgrade to Premium Plus^ wireless internet access for optimal entertainment and business needs
  • 2 telephones (1 cordless) with dual voice lines, data port and voicemail
  • Club Level rooms feature complimentary continental breakfast, access to the fitness center, and more

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Hotel Amenities

Whether it’s relaxing in the serene lagoon-style pool, the sights and sounds of our weekly luau, or a workout in the fitness center, Loews Royal Pacific Resort has something for everyone.

Pools

One of the most impressive features of this resort is the lagoon-style swimming pool and sandy beach. Sink your toes into the sand and ease your body into your lounge chair. Lagoon style swimming pool featuring a white sand beach and the following:

  • Two (2) hot tubs
  • Beach volleyball court
  • Private cabanas for rent

Mandara Spa® & Fitness Center

Visit the full service Mandara Spa® next door at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. Mandara Spa® offers comprehensive wellness services, a de-stressing zone where you can work out, or tune out with a delicious spa treatment.

Supervised Kids Camp

When Mom and Dad want to enjoy a night on the town, drop the kids off at the supervised children’s activity center.

Kids will enjoy an arts & crafts table, storybook corner, computer desks, a movie room, and more. Counselors are trained to supervise toilet-trained children ages 4-14 only. One counselor for every 8-10 children.

COST: $15 per hour, per child / $15 per meal

HOURS: Open from 5:00 pm to 11:30 pm, Sunday through Thursday and from 5:00 pm to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. * Times are subject to change.

Restaurants

Emeril’s Tchoup Chop

In both atmosphere and menu, Emeril’s Tchoup Chop offers diners a unique and exotic journey through the Pacific Seas, a perfect complement for the Loews Royal Pacific Resort, complete with bamboo, waterfalls, sculpted gardens and giant woks in full view.

Islands Dining Room

Enjoy savory chef-inspired creations featuring noodle bar dishes, rice bowls, wok and hibachi specialties. At breakfast, join us for traditional favorites, along with several Polynesian-influenced morning specialties.

Jake’s American Bar

Jake’s American Bar is the perfect place to meet for drinks and lively conversation after your day’s adventures.

Wantilan Luau

Sit back and experience an evening of authentic Polynesian food and entertainment at the enchanting Wantilan Luau, a weekly Hawaiian dinner show featuring an all-you-can-eat buffet of Polynesian specialties, live Hawaiian music and traditional hula dancing. Hula and fire dancers delight the audience and entice a few to even learn the hula! (Fees apply; reservations required)

Orchid Court Lounge & Sushi Bar

Enjoy a continental breakfast or a tropical cocktail at the Orchid Court Lounge, which overlooks a serene orchid garden. The Orchid Court Sushi Bar features modern, inventive sushi and sashimi presentations along with Asian-inspired desserts and South Seas martinis.

Bula Bar & Grille

Bula means “welcome” in Fijian, and you’ll definitely feel right at home at this poolside eatery serving up food and beverages with a tropical flair.

THE LONGER YOU STAY THE MORE YOU SAVE!

Stay more nights and save up to 35%!

Contact me to get starting planning your EPIC vacation at Universal Orlando!

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Refurbishments 2016

Disney World is constantly making improvements to its parks and resorts, it’s a never-ending process.

Here is what is happening in the coming year.

Magic Kingdom

Splash Mountain
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Liberty Square Riverboat
Magic Carpets of Aladdin
Mad Tea Party
Jan. 10 – 14, 2016
Jan. 18 – Feb. 11, 2016
Jan. 18 – 22, 2016
Jan. 25 – Feb. 3, 2016
Feb. 22 – 26, 2016

EPCOT

Re-Imagination of Maelstrom
Soarin’
Oct. 15, 2014 – Apr. 30, 2016
Jan. 4, 2016 – Summer 2016

Hollywood Studios

Pizza Planet Jan. 11 – Late 2016

Animal Kingdom

Maharajah Jungle Trek
Kali River Rapids
Flights of Wonder
Jan. 4 – 21, 2016
Jan. 4 – Feb. 11, 2016
Jan. 25 – Mar. 17, 2016

Typoon Lagoon

Annual Refurbishment Jan. 4 – Mar. 12, 2016

Blizzard Beach

Annual Refurbishment Oct. 4, 2015 – Jan. 3, 2016

Resort Hotels

Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Bay Cove Pool Feb. 1 – March 18, 2016
Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
Surfboard Bay Pool Jan. 25 – 28, 2016
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
Jambo House Soft Goods Rehab Jan. 1 – May 20, 2016
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
Schoolyard Sprayground Jan. 3 – Mar. 11, 2016
Disney’s Beach Club Villas
Soft Goods Rehab Jan. 22 – Aug. 17, 2016
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
Exterior Repair and Painting Aug. 17, 2015 – May 5, 2016
Flying Fish Restaurant Feb. 1 – Sep. 30, 2016
Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
Guest Villa Renovations Through Spring 2016
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
Old Port Royale – Path of Travel Impacts
Guests in some parts of Martinique and Trinidad North may experience some contruction noise.
Jan. 3 – Feb. 28, 2016
Jamaica Pool Jan. 6 – 8, 2016
Martinique Quiet Pool Jan. 11 – 13, 2016
Fuentes del Morro Pool Jan. 13 – 16, 2016
Trinidad North Quiet Pool Jan. 27 – 29, 2016
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Courtyard Pool Jan. 16 – 19, 2016
Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort
Pool Slide Feb. 1 – 17, 2016
Disney’s Old Key West Resort
Sandcastle Pool Jan. 4 – 6, 2016
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
General Construction
During this time, Guests will observe construction taking place and certain pathways and buildings may be unavailable.
Through Spring 2016
East Pool
Closed for enhancement. Guests may see or hear work in progress.
Now – Spring 2016
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
Ol’ Man Island Pool Jan. 11 – Feb. 29, 2016
Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
Grandstand Pool Jan. 20 – 22, 2016
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge & Villas
General Resort Refurbishments
Due to multiple resort refurbishment projects, Guests will notice construction work in various areas. Noise may be overheard while this work is being completed, but construction will not begin until after 9 a.m. Certain pathways, including the nature trail, will be unavailable. The Hidden Springs leisure pool area (the leisure pool at The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge), resort beach, playground, Marina and Recreation fire pit will be unavailable.
Through 2017
Cub’s Den (Children’s Activity Center) – unavailable Jan. 3, 2016 – Through 2017
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
Stormalong Bay Slide Jan. 11 – 15, 2016

 

Save Up to 25% on Rooms

Save Up to 25% on Rooms at Select Walt Disney World Resort Hotels This Spring!

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Save up to 25%* on rooms at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels for stays most nights April 14-June 11, 2016 when you book by March 31, 2016. Other great rates for stays most nights Feb. 22-April 13, 2016.

Plus,  receive 1 more ticket day FREE when you upgrade to a room and ticket package with a minimum 4-day Magic Your Way® Ticket.

Booking Window: Dec. 28, 2015 – Feb. 28, 2016
Travel Window: Feb. 22 – Jun. 11, 2016

Full list of offer exclusions : campsites, 3-bedroom villas, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter, Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms.

Whirlwind Sandals Resorts Fam Trip

I recently had the incredible opportunity to attend a 4 night exclusive FAM (familiarization trip ) with my agency to Jamaica. We were invited by Sandals Resorts to learn about their fabulous product and become Certified Sandals Specialist.

Sandals Whitehouse

Over the next few weeks, I will review and recap the Sandals and Beaches Resorts that we visited while on our trip.

  1.  Sandals Whitehouse European Village (stayed 2 nights here)
  2.  Sandals Negril Resort and Spa
  3. Beaches Negril Resort and Spa
  4. Sandals Montego Bay (just a rest stop)
  5. Sandals OCHI (formerly Grande Riviera)(stayed 2 night here)
  6. Sandals Royal Plantation
  7. Beaches Ocho Rios Resort and Spa
  8. Sandals Golf & Country Club (not a resort )

Yes! That is a lot of touring…this was definitely a working trip, including a 4 hour workshop to become a Certified Sandals Specialist, lead by the incredible (seriously, didn’t feel like 4 hours, went by very quickly) Iesha Hibbert.

I absolutely fell in love with Jamaica. The people are so welcoming and friendly everywhere and Sandals Resorts are unparalleled. Luxury Included is the truth. Each Sandals Resort has it’s own unique vibe and there is a perfect resort for everyone.

I cannot wait to go back with my own family to Beaches, it’s moved to the top of our travel bucket list. And I cannot wait to help my clients plan their wonderful memory making trips, whether they be family trips to Beaches, a nice change from the theme parks. Or a romantic getaway for mom and dad for a complete change of pace.

Stay tuned for the reviews and see photo tours on my Facebook Page.

Contact me if you would like more information on planning your own visit to paradise. 🙂  barbara@atimetotreasuretravel.com

 

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Wilderness Lodge Pool

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge recently refurbished their main pool. The pool and slide didn’t change, but they did revamp the children’s pool area. and added a fence around the entire area. The children’s pool was removed completely and a new Splash Pad put in.

Magical Travels with Barb

Magical Travels with Barb

Magical Travels with Barb
Lifeguards always vigilant at Disney pools.

These Splash Pads are a big hit with the kids and lots of fun. Although there is a 48 inch height limit, there were kids playing on it that were over that height. Sprayers, buckets of water dumping out, slides…it’s lots of fun!

Magical Travels with Barb

Magical Travels with Barb

Magical Travels with Barb

There is also a hot tub between the Splash Pad and main pool as well as the Trout Pass Bar.

Magical Travels with Barb

There is a second pool, the quiet pool over by the villas with an additional hot tub, but this pool will be torn out and a completely new pool area will be replacing it with the addition of the DVC cabins. It’s scheduled to close in just a month’s time.

Wilderness Lodge Villas Review

We recently returned from another fabulous family Disney vacation, this time making our home base a 1 bedroom villa at the Wilderness Lodge.

Magical Travels with Barb
Main lobby at Wilderness Lodge

The villas are housed in a separate building right beside the lodge and accessed by a covered walkway where western music guides you to the villas own majestic, if on a somewhat smaller scale, lobby. Check-in occurs in the main lodge, there is no check-in desk in the villas lobby.

Magical Travels with Barb

Magical Travels with Barb
Villas Lobby

Magical Travels with Barb

The villas have  been refurbished since we last stayed in one and are lighter and more airy than before. The dark kitchen cabinets are now white, carpet is now wood flooring and overall the villas are brighter.

Magical Travels with Barb

Magical Travels with Barb

Magical Travels with Barb

Magical Travels with Barb

Magical Travels with Barb

Magical Travels with Barb
Master bedroom with window pocket door into the bathroom

Magical Travels with Barb

Magical Travels with Barb

The 1 and 2 bedroom villas offer a full kitchen and stackable washer/dryer making life very convenient indeed for keeping up with laundry and having breakfast and even lunch if you wanted to in your villas.   A pull out queen sofa makes up the main room along with the kitchen and entry way. Then a split bathroom with jetted tub and separate shower and a king size bed in the bedroom make up the rest. The 1 bedroom villa features two balconies. We were on the 5th floor, the top floor so our villas had vaulted ceilings and our balcony had a solid wall.

When booking the resort directly with Disney, just as you would a regular room, mousekeeping is daily. When booking on DVC points, it’s every 4th day. Detergent was provided daily for the dishwasher and laundry.

Magical Travels with Barb
view from our balcony on 5th floor. Facing main lodge and we could see just a hint of the quiet pool through the trees. Straight ahead we could see the very high fireworks from Magic Kingdom’s Wishes.

We took advantage of grocery delivery options to have staples delivered for breakfast and of course, beverages. The Mercantile in the Lodge does have a nice selection of food items and essentials, but you’ll save money by ordering in advance. We use Garden Grocer and have had great success with them.

Magical Travels with Barb
First aid and essentials

Magical Travels with Barb

Magical Travels with Barb

Other than the health club, which is located in the Villas lobby, all other resort amenities, restaurants, etc… are located in the Lodge.  Signature restaurant Artist’s Point, the fun and playful Whispering Canyon and the counter service Roaring Forks. The quiet pool is just steps outside and a short walk around to the main pool, pool  bar, beach, marina with boat rentals and the boat dock for the ferry to the Magic Kingdom or Fort Wilderness and the Contemporary. The Wilderness Lodge is a fairly compact resort in comparison to some of the sprawling resorts Disney offers, so nothing is really too far away.

Magical Savings for Fall

Experience what a Walt Disney World® Resort family vacation is all about with this 4-day/4-night room and ticket Magic Together package in a standard room at Disney’s All-Star Resorts for a family of 4 from just $1,701.

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Booking Window: July 20 – Sept. 18, 2015
Travel Window: Most nights 10/4-10/8, 10/12-10/15, 10/18-10/22, 10/25-10/29, 11/1-11/5, 11/9-11/12, 11/15-11/19 and 11/28-12/10/15. Check for other great rates between 10/4-11/24 and 11/28-12/23.

Portofino Bay Hotel Review

My family recently ventured to the “dark side” and added a 2 night stay at Universal Orlando Resort to our traditional Disney vacation.

Perfect add-on for families with older kids, tweens and teens!

Planning a Universal Orlando Resort trip is not quite as overwhelming as a Disney trip can be, but there is still a little planning to be done. I can help you with this too 🙂 This wasn’t my first stay at Universal, but it was our first trip as a family and with the kids . We will be back!

Magical Travel with Barb

We chose the Portofino Bay Hotel as our home  base for our 2 night stay. This hotel is simply stunning. It’s is a replica of the Italian coastal town of Portofino, right down to the little fishing boats in the harbor and vespa’s lining the piazza!

Magical Travels with Barb

The hotel complex is sprawling, made up of 3 main areas. The lobby facing the main harbor piazza and then the East and West Wings. A Villas Wing extends off of the West Wing.

Magical Travels with Barb

The West Wing offers the best proximity to the boat dock and walking path to the theme parks and the feature pool.

Magical Travels with Barb

Rooms at Portofino Bay are spacious and well -appointed, starting at a generous 450 sq feet for a standard room Garden or Bay view. Deluxe rooms, suites and club level services are also available.

Rooms have all the standard amenities and beds are queen sized.

Magical Travels with Barb

Magical Travels with Barb

Magical Travels with Barb

Portofino Bay features  Despicable Me suites in the East Wing. 

There are numerous restaurants, all Italian, including a Gelateria and Starbucks. Splendido Bar & Grill is right by the main pool with lounge chair service. Three pools are scattered throughout, the Beach Pool being the feature pool with the Roman aqueduct themed water slide, zero entry, sandy beach, waterfalls and a small grotto. Even when busy, we were always able to find a few lounge chairs available.

Magical Travels with Barb
Beach Pool
Magical Travels with Barb
View of activity center and Splendido at Beach Pool.

Recreation includes poolside activities, bocce ball, a game room, fitness center, a spa and much more.  Be sure to catch the daily Musica della Notte show in the harbor piazza, and enjoy the sounds Italy.

Magical Travels with Barb
The spotlight on the building is where the opera singer is entertaining.

Transportation to/from the parks is so easy! There are boats running constantly from early morning till the wee hours of the night. Every 20 minutes or so. The ride is less than 10 minutes. The walking path is just past the boat dock and takes about 15 minutes at  a leisurely pace, 10 minutes if you are really trying to make it back before a downpour…we made it. 🙂 The path brings you past the Hard Rock Hotel and right to the Universal Studios entrance. They also have bicycle jitneys going back and forth if you choose.

Magical Travels with Barb

Magical Travels with Barb

The major benefit of staying on-site at Universal is this:

  • SKIP THE REGULAR LINES with Universal Express SM Unlimited ride access* in both theme parks – a FREE benefit worth up to $89 per person, per day** (valid theme park admission required)
  • Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, one hour before the theme park opens (valid theme park admission required)

That’s right, staying at one of the 3 deluxe onsite hotels, Portofino Bay, Hard Rock or the Royal Pacific, entitles you to the above benefits. With the popularity of Harry Potter, that extra hour is much needed! And Express Pass really helps with the rest of the parks , the only place it is not accepted is for the Harry Potter rides.

We made the most of both the parks and the resort by splitting up our day with a pool break in the afternoon each day and with Express Pass and having early entry one day, we were able to see and do everything we wanted to in less than 2 full days, but would probably stay longer next time to really make the most of everything offered.

Universal offers some great packages including a Wizarding World of Harry Potter package and Stay More Save More deals. Contact me for a free no obligation quote.

 

 

Cabana Bay Resort

Today we’re going to head over to Universal Studios Orlando Resort and check out the brand new resort Cabana Bay Beach Resort.

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A few nights at Universal Studios Orlando is a great add on to any Walt Disney World or cruise vacation and especially will appeal to families with slightly older children, tweens and teens.

The new Cabana Bay offers some fabulous unique features in a moderate price range making it a great choice for families. It has a fantastic multi-pool area with lazy river, family suites and is within walking distance to the Universal Parks with 1 hour early entry included for onsite guests.

Take a look at a few of these short videos highlighting all the property has to offer.

Contact me to start planning today 🙂